cover image The Itty-Bitty Witch

The Itty-Bitty Witch

Trisha Speed Shaskan, illus. by Xindi Yan. Two Lions, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5420-4123-2

When Betty Ann Batsworth shows up for her first day of first grade witch school still using her “kinder-broom,” her classmates begin calling her “Itty Bitty,” which, as Shaskan notes, makes her feel small inside each time she hears it. Determined to show her spirit by winning the big broom-riding race, Betty works hard (“Practice makes magic,” Shaskan writes) and inadvertently discovers that embracing her stature—and the broom that suits her—can offer a winning advantage. Yan, whose compositions and characterizations are reminiscent of classic animation, choreographs the young witches’ aerodynamic antics and amps up the visual drama with a Halloween palette. Alert readers may notice that Betty actually has a shy, bespectacled fan among the meanie witches, but the creators forgo developing any alliance in favor of a familiar portrayal of determined, lone underdog who discovers her sense of worth. Ages 3–7. [em](July) [/em]